Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2012
40 US Organizations Call for Action on NYPD Surveillance of New York Area Mosques
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 6, 2012
CAIR Calls for Hearings on NYPD Targeting of Shia Mosques
Secret document recommends spying without warrants or evidence of wrongdoing
(NEW YORK, NY, 2/2/12) --
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called for hearings in that state's legislature to investigate new revelations that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) initiated a program of spying on Shia mosques without warrants and without any evidence of wrongdoing by worshipers.
CAIR-NY cited a secret NYPD document, titled "US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City" and revealed by The Associated Press (AP), that "recommended increasing surveillance of thousands of Shiite Muslims and their mosques, based solely on their religion." According to AP, none of the targeted mosques had been linked to terrorism by the NYPD or by federal agencies.
AP's report also states:
"The NYPD is prohibited under its own guidelines and city law from basing its investigations on religion. Under FBI guidelines, which the NYPD says it follows, many of the recommendations in the police document would be prohibited. ... The secret document stands in contrast to statements by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the NYPD never considers religion in its policing. Kelly has said police go only where investigative leads take them, but the document described no leads to justify expanded surveillance at Shiite mosques."
NYPD Document: Gather Intel Info at Shiite Mosques
US-Iran Conflict: The Threat to New York City
"We are beginning to wonder whether NYPD officials believe American Muslims have any constitutional rights that need be respected," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick. "Each new revelation of NYPD targeting of the Muslim community without evidence of wrongdoing paints a picture of a department that has little regard for legal prohibitions on ethnic and religious profiling."
McGoldrick said New York Muslims will rally tomorrow following their Friday congregational prayers to protest the NYPD's targeting of their community.
A series of recent investigative reports by AP revealed that undercover NYPD officers in a so-called "Demographics Unit" spied on Muslim communities and houses of worship with the assistance of individuals linked to the CIA. NYPD officials initially denied the Demographics Unit existed, despite the AP's publication of an NYPD presentation and other documents that described the mission and makeup of the unit.
Reports indicate that the NYPD even spied on Muslim leaders who figured prominently in community outreach efforts, and infiltrated Muslim student groups not suspected of committing any crime.
CAIR-NY -- along with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC) and other minority and civil liberties groups -- recently called for the resignations of NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne due to revelations that they covered up their roles in the production of the anti-Islam propaganda film "The Third Jihad" that was shown to almost 1500 NYPD officers.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick, 212-870-2002, or 203-206-6883, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: email@example.com
(see list of coalitions below)
Recent reports indicate that the New York Police Department (NYPD)
has been conducting covert surveillance of mosques in New York, New Jersey
and Connecticut. The targeted mosques, highlighted in
secret NYPD document dated May 15, 2006 released by the Associated Press
earlier today, are largely focused on the Shi’a Muslim community. The
activities of the NYPD have raised grave concerns within the broader Arab
American and American Muslim communities and, in this particular instance,
among Shi’a Muslims.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan, is the largest grassroots Arab-American civil rights and civil liberties organization in the United States. It was founded in 1980 by former Senator James Abourezk. ADC has a national network of chapters and members in all 50 states.================
Ray Kelly Admits Involvement With 'The Third Jihad,'
Anti-Muslim Film Shown To NYPD Officers
First Posted: 01/25/2012 10:21 am
Huffington Post, 02/ 2/2012 5:12 pm
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted through a top aide Tuesday that he cooperated with filmmakers of "The Third Jihad"-- a radical anti-Muslim movie, which was screened for almost 1,500 officers during counter-terrorism training in 2010.
Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne confirmed to The New York Times that Kelly took part in an interview with the film's director, Erik Werth, in 2007. Browne also said Kelly expressed regret at the decision.
"Commissioner Kelly told me today that the video was objectionable," Browne said, "and that he should not have agreed to the interview five years ago, when I recommended it."
Browne and Kelly only admitted their involvement in the film after producer Raphael Shore emailed The Times and provided a date and time of the interview.
Tom Robbins of the Village Voice originally reported the department's involvement with The Third Jihad, which asserts that most American Muslims are involved in promoting terror, after hearing that cops were made to watch the film.
Responding to Robbins' article, the NYPD initially said the film was "mistakenly screened a couple of times." A Freedom of Information request by the Brennan Center for Justice, however, revealed the film had been shown "on a continuous loop" for up to a year of training for nearly 1,500 officers.
The NYPD said a sergeant, unbeknownst to Kelly and Browne, independently screened the film for officers. The sergeant has since been disciplined, according to Browne.
Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday the police department used "terrible judgment" in screening the film. The criticism is curious however, as Bloomberg has previously defended the department's exposed secret program to gather intelligence on Muslim neighborhoods across the city.
The trailer for The Third Jihad is below. For more, go here.
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